How to Become an Electrician in New Jersey
Wondering how to begin a rewarding, lucrative career as an electrician in NJ?
You’ll need to find state-approved educational and apprenticeship programs that teach you the tools of the trade.
Once you’ve perfected your skills, you can apply for an official license and begin looking for well-paying electrician jobs in New Jersey.
Education and Training
Completing an accredited electrician program is an essential first step for those wondering how to become an electrician in New Jersey. Several New Jersey trade schools, community colleges, and universities offer courses for students pursuing this career path.
During your studies, your instructors will cover topics like:
- Basic Electrical Theory
- Voltage, Currents, Resistance and Power
- Load Calculations
- Electrical Wiring
- Blueprint Reading and Interpretation
- Electrical Controls and Systems
- Field and Shop Safety Protocols
Most courses also include a workshop component, where students practice using electrician tools and equipment to install and repair various electrical system models.
Like welders, HVAC technicians, plumbers, and other skilled trades professionals, electricians in NJ need to complete years of hands-on training before they can apply for licensure. Students can find apprenticeship programs through the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development and begin working with licensed electricians.
NJ electrician apprenticeships typically involve:
- Office duties like answering phones, talking to clients, scheduling house calls
- Assisting master electricians on job sites
- Performing supervised installation and repair tasks in homes and businesses
Do Apprentice Electricians Get Paid?
Although circumstances vary by program, most apprentice electricians in NJ earn a regular paycheck for their services. Others provide tuition assistance or reimbursement to cover the costs of your schooling. Check with your potential supervisors to learn about their payment and financial aid policies.
How Long is Electrician School in NJ?
State law requires electricians in NJ to complete a minimum of 576 classroom hours. Most electrician trade school programs in New Jersey allow students to meet this requirement in about one year.
However, some accelerated courses take roughly six months to complete. Two- and four-year degree programs are also available for those who plan to become master electricians and private contractors.
Aspiring electricians in NJ must also earn at least 8,000 of hands-on industry training through their apprenticeships. It takes most people four years to obtain the required hours, bringing the total education and training time for electricians in NJ to approximately five years.
Tuition rates for electrician programs vary by institution. Some vocational and trade schools cost around $6,000 or $7,000, while others range between $10,000 and $17,000. Generally speaking, prices for tuition, equipment, and study materials at most electrician schools in New Jersey stand at about $20,000.
New Jersey Electrician Requirements
In order to qualify for electrician jobs in New Jersey, you’ll need to pass a certification exam and obtain an official journeyman electrician license from the state’s Attorney General’s office.
Applying for a Journeyman License
Aspiring electricians in NJ must register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and submit the following to receive their credentials:
- Proof of identification showing that you are at least 18 years of age
- A copy of your high school diploma or GED
- Payment of the state’s initial licensing fee
- A passport-style photo taken within the past six months
- A completed Application for a Certificate of Registration to Practice as a Qualified Journeyman Electrician form detailing your qualifications, such as:
- Personal information
- A signed and notarized affidavit agreeing to a criminal background check
- Completion of a minimum of 576 hours of classroom instruction
- At least 8,000 documented work experience hours
- Work experience certification form, to be filled out by your apprenticeship supervisor
Once the Attorney General’s office processes your application, you’ll receive a certification card confirming your status as a registered journeyman electrician. You can then qualify for electrician jobs in New Jersey.
Electrical Contractor License
After a year of working as a certified journeyman electrician in NJ, you can log into your Division of Consumer Affairs account and register to take the electrical contractor licensing exam. The state’s Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors proctors this exam to measure each applicant’s knowledge and expertise.
To register for this test, you’ll need to submit the following:
- A driver’s license or state-issued ID, signifying that you are at least 21 years of age
- A completed Application for Examination form
- Payment of the $100 exam fee
You’ll need to achieve a 70 percent score or higher to pass this test and obtain your electrical contractor license.
Electrician Salaries in NJ
On average, electricians in NJ make about $79,937 per year. However, your earnings may differ slightly depending on where you live and work in the state. Take a look at this list for regional information about the typical electrician salary in New Jersey:
- Jersey City $83,433
- Newark $82,560
- Atlantic City $71,356
- Long Branch $78,385
- Pine Hill $76,040
- Trenton $86,348
Annual earnings for New Jersey electricians also vary by employer. For example, those working for local electric companies might have salaries in the $70k to $75k range. Meanwhile, government contracts and construction jobs might pay closer to $90k or more.
Electrician jobs in New Jersey require a combination of critical thinking skills, physical stamina, and focused attention to detail. Depending on the customer’s needs, an electrician may need to perform any or all of the following tasks:
- Installing electrical systems, light fixtures, security cameras, and outlets
- Repairing damaged powerlines
- Working with builders and architects to wire a new build
- Testing and maintaining backup generators in hospitals, schools, and businesses
- Restoring power to buildings after storms and outages
As more journeyman electricians in NJ earn their master electrician credentials and start their own businesses, the need for electricians will likely increase. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for these skilled trades professionals to grow by seven percent within the next decade.